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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Buckshot Willett, Furman and Wimbledon 2009

Here is the URL that is the guts of this blog, a front page story in the Anniston Star Sunday about the Phenom Melanie Oudin and her Anniston, Alabama connections.

Here is what it says about Buckshot


Such memories will surely come up when Mentone's Hank Willett holds a family gathering in late July. His late father was a first cousin to Oudin's father.This tennis family's members are bound to volley tales of Anniston native Frank "Buckshot" Willett, a boys' indoor national champion in the 1930s and a member of the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame.Buckshot Willett is one of Oudin's great-uncles.Hank Willett, considered a family historian, said Saturday that his tennis-fan brother in California has called to see whether Oudin will attend the gathering. It depends on her schedule.

I was dying to call Uncle Fremont who took advantage of the tennis and badminton public opportunities in Rome Georgia contemporaneous with Buckshot in Anniston not far away.
But Uncle Free left us in 2005; great fellow, encouraged what little gifts I had on the court.

I don't live far from Mentone. I may go up and talk some of this out with Hank.
I notified Bubba of the Rick and
bubba show this morning since he comes from the Anniston Area and some say brought the Davis Cup to Bham this year.

There is a connection to my alma mater, Furman, in all this. Native Annistonian, Dudley Reynolds most certainly comes from the same Country Club tennis tradition as Oudin's cousins and Great Grandfather.
Dudley was key to Furman and the legendary Paul Scarpa tennis program in the early 70's and one of my classmates; lived down the hall Freshman year. He and his Dad were Father Son Doubles Champs in Alabama for a long time runnig. Dudley had a roommate from South Georgia who was a character in his own right.
Dudley is now a trustee of Furman and Head of Alabama Power. Public records say Dudley did quite well last year; what you would expect from a Rhodes Scholar contender.

I never made it to Wimbledon--Barely made it out of Gaffney High Program though I did make semifinals in state tourney Jr year in 5th bracket-- even as a spectator. Gaffney High teammate Rahul Mehra has been. He and Bubba Aughtry made some net history.
Bubba's Dad Cowboy Aughtry woulda appreciate Buckshot. You can't make these names up.
Yesterday there was a front page online story in the NY Times about Oudin and her glory at the Big One this year. I left a comment at the Times story thanking them for the report, but saying the Anniston Star had the jewel of a report this year.
Buckshot Willett; one of the great sporting names of any category. It's a shame Lewis Grizzard, tennis fan, isn't still with us to nuance this one.
I knda feel like I was there this year, probably the closest I'll ever get thought I did see Chris Evert once in Columbus Georgia.
Here is to Oudin, hoping she ain't a flash in the pan; for the Glory of Anniston, Mentone, Buckshot, and all the fourth cousins once removed reflected glory and love of the game as a struggler.

Melanie in the June 29 NY Times


Blogger observer said...

Speaking of publicity, i understand your hometown has been getting some of the wrong kind lately...any comments. what am i saying, of course fox has comments.

6:43 AM  
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